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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Accuses UK Government of "Draconian Internet Snooping" 192

An anonymous reader writes "According to British daily The Telegraph, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned that plans to monitor individuals' use of the internet would result in Britain losing its reputation as an upholder of web freedom. The plans, by Home Secretary Theresa May, would force British ISPs and other service providers to keep records of every phone call, email and website visit in Britain. Sir Tim has told the Times: 'In Britain, like in the US, there has been a series of Bills that would give government very strong powers to, for example, collect data. I am worried about that.' Sir Tim has also warned that the UK may wind up slipping down the list of countries with the most Internet freedom, if the proposed data-snooping laws pass parliament. The draft bill extends the type of data that internet service providers must store for at least 12 months. Providers would also be required to keep details of a much wider set of data, including use of social network sites, webmail and voice calls over the internet." Jimmy Wales doesn't seem to be a very big fan of the UK snooping either.
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Accuses UK Government of "Draconian Internet Snooping"

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  • Run a Tor relay. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @04:14AM (#41257723)
    Even if you're not happy running an exit node, you can help speed up the Tor network by running a relay. All traffic through a relay is encrypted and kept within the Tor network, so you remain unidentifiable. It also helps obscure when you yourself are using Tor.
  • Re:Run a Tor relay. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by coofercat ( 719737 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:33AM (#41258509) Homepage Journal

    So here's a serious question...

    Assuming this tracking law gets in (which it seems it will eventually, as this isn't the first try for such a thing), then would it actually be a good time for everyone (inside the UK and International) to rent a virtual server some place (in the UK) and run an honest-to-goodness Tor exit node?

    For us Brits, there's a risk of prosecution (although it's unclear to what extent). I'm sure "it's a Tor node, it's entirely public, and I personally didn't actually download all that stuff" might be enough defence to avoid life-changing legal action. IANAL, and I really have no clue what I'm talking about here.

    However, for International folks, the worst than can really happen is that they shut down your VPS. You can then just go rent another one and be up and running in minutes.

    Assuming this vaguely makes sense (particularly for non-UK residents), then we could conceivably have a "flood" of Tor-originated traffic to all manner of questionable web content flowing through our Royal pipework and into the ISP data logs, and into the Great Decentralised Central Government Database of Everything. I'm probably barking up the wrong dog here, but it seems interesting none the less.

  • by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @09:49AM (#41259449)
    It's hardly worth being a technical specialist in the British secret world. The real reason that Thatcher wanted Spycatcher banned was because it revealed just how badly technical experts were treated in comparison with the Old Etonians, and might have dampened recruitment. Here's a hint: If you are any good, you can easily earn more teaching maths in a UK secondary school than you can being a codebreaker for the Secret Services. No, I can't prove it, but I have good reason to believe it.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27